The 12-month doctor visit

It’s occurred to me since having a child that it’s a good thing the child does not know his monthly birthdays and even his first birthday are really any different from any other day. Most of them are marred by a doctor visit and shots. Today, Max and I endured the 12-month checkup and I was startled by the exponential increase in difficulty of the doctor’s visit since his nine-month visit. (We were there a few weeks ago when he had strep, but I guess the illness kept him in check.)

A timeline of the day (or how not to handle the 12-month visit)

10:50 a.m. Put son down half an hour early for nap.

12:00 p.m. Get son out of crib after roughly an hour of not napping.

12:15 p.m. Start bottle early (It was due at 12:55, but appointment is at 1:45.)

12:25 p.m. Son wants break from bottle.

1 p.m. One more break and half an hour later, bottle mostly done. Settling in high chair for lunch.

1:02 p.m. Pinch son’s delicate tummy skin in high chair. Spend frantic minute finding source of crying. Remove from chair, comfort, return to chair CAREFULLY.

1:25 p.m. Finish fairly uneventful lunch. Rush upstairs, change diaper, and dress child.

1:30 p.m. Rain starts pouring, rush upstairs for umbrella.

1:35 p.m. Place child in carseat, say f-word three times, volume increasing with each repetition, as you futilely attempt to close umbrella. Head to doctor’s office, which is more than ten minutes away, especially in the rain.

1:50 Arrive at doctor’s office, park in newborn and mother-to-be parking with one-year-old. (Hey, I never got to use it when I was pregnant and then actually had a newborn.) Curse your luck when notice mother with apparent newborn parked next to you.

1:51 Sigh with relief when you find out hers is nine-months-old.

2:00 p.m. Start waiting in exam room with restless toddler who can’t actually toddle very well yet and only wants to play with the wipes container and germy exam room toys, despite the ones you brought from home.

2:20 Finally get your exam. Try to contain toddler who cries while his ears are being checked.

2:35-ish Start waiting for the nurse to come back with the shots. Pace back and forth holding child, making sad puppy noises from your son’s favorite song from music class, hoping no one in the hall or next room can hear you.

2:45 Start going crazy waiting for the shots. Decide to let son down on floor, thinking that will make the nurse show up.

2:46 Son smacks face on floor. Starts screaming. Nurse walks in.

2:55 Comfort screaming son after shots. Head home, stopping at Starbucks on the way.

Bookworm and son

Most parents imagine all of the clothes and toys they will buy for their child. At least, I think that’s the case. I’m a little weird in the respect that I dreamed, not of those things, but of sharing books with my son. I am sure there probably are other weird parents out there who dreamed of sharing their favorite books with their child and discovering new ones to love. However, I think that is almost exclusively what I thought about. The only other thing that came close was my desire to share my love of music. But that’s another post.

In fact, for the first several months after he was born, books were all I bought for him, aside from the necessities, such as diapers. I was just very anxious to ensure he started out with a good book collection, a good shot at being a reader. Others had bought him plenty of clothes and toys, so I decided it was going to be up to me to fill the bookshelf.

Towards that end, I decided to start a tradition of buying a new book for him on his birthday every month. I have not decided yet how long I will continue this tradition, but right now, it will be until his first birthday at least. I have cheated a few months and bought two (In fact, I bought three for his ten-month birthday last week.), but overall, it has been a good, fairly inexpensive way to regularly add to his bookshelf. Plus, I get positively giddy when I order new books for him from Amazon and envision reading them to him for the first time. So, it’s a little something for me to look forward to every month. And who doesn’t need that?

That is part of the reason I have shared on this site when I read a new book with him. I have fallen woefully behind during the whole moving process these past few months, but I am going to try and share a few titles right now, rather than try and write a separate entry for each, as usual, and fall further behind. I hope any of you parents trying to raise readers might get some inspiration (and send some my way, if you like) and that Max might someday enjoy knowing the books we shared together and when.

Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition (Purple Crayon Books)

The New Adventures of Curious George

A Treasury of Curious George

Olivia (Classic Board Books)

Corduroy

Max Counts His Chickens (Max and Ruby)

(This last one was a present for his first Easter. An impulse buy at the register at HEB that worked out really well.)

Wondering

Why putting my son down for a nap has suddenly become very much like wrestling an octopus? One who attempts to bite me and sticks his cute little pajama-clad butt out while trying to scale my shoulders.

Make it stop!!

My son now has a tooth on top as well as two on the bottom. He has figured out how to click or scrape them together. I’m not sure what he’s doing, but it makes my skin crawl. How can he do that on purpose? It makes me cringe for hours every time I accidentally scrape my teeth together!

Mommy’s naptime schedule

Ha! Did you think this was a sleep schedule pour moi? Hardly. These are the activities I ALWAYS fit in during Max’s naps in order of the difficulty of doing them with a baby (And, let’s face it, the fun factor of doing them with a baby). I have learned this through trial and error since becoming a mom. I have definitely been forced to get my priorities straight.

1. Use the bathroom (Because I like to do this alone whenever I can. Usually there is a baby and/or assorted cats in there with me. Cats do not seem to get that it is not good to rub around their owner’s legs when said owner is sitting on the toilet.)

2. Eat. (Because the baby will either howl and make you feel guilty because you stranded them in their Jumperoo so you could have two hands to eat or they will babble adorably and make you feel guilty for wishing you could hear the TV over their adorable babble. I love to watch TV while I eat.)

3. Get dressed. (Again, I like to do this alone whenever I can.)

4. Any chores I have time or energy left to do.

Before I go, thanks for your patience with the dearth of posts lately. We moved in to a new house and there has just not been enough time or energy to post the last few weeks. I’m hoping to get back on track now.

Who’s really being weaned?

Well, my son has been fully weaned at seven months. I tried to do it slowly. I was planning to still nurse him in the morning and at night. It snowballed somehow. I guess we were¬† both just ready. He didn’t seem to be getting enough food and he was so distracted all the time that many feeding sessions had become an ordeal. Plus, he still bit me occasionally (although he had gotten much better about that).

He seems to be taking it pretty well, as far as I can tell. He accepts the bottle readily (He actually gets excited when he sees one.) and no longer gets confused and tries to go for both the breast AND bottle when I give him a bottle. I, however, am feeling a bit sad. I might still be able to go back, but I don’t think it’s the right thing. Still, the right thing isn’t always easy.

I will never breast-feed Max again. He has taken another step towards independence. I will find a way to make up for the closeness I felt when I nursed him. Until then, I am sad.

Feeling stupid

For playing a round of “Do you like my new hat?” to amuse Max using a stepladder. Which opened. And hit me in the head.

Thank you, Hallmark Channel

For being lazy enough or unimaginative enough (I’m not sure which.) to air “7th Heaven” five times a day. With WGN’s 8 a.m. showing, that is six episodes every day. EVERY DAY. Well, except for weekends. Oh, yes. This will get me through the hard times.
Not only do I love “7th Heaven”, but Max and I have watched it together practically every day since he was born. He turns toward the TV and smiles when he hears the theme song. And now I get to see that smile six times a day! I am guaranteed at least those six smiles everyday, even if I am too exhausted to be very entertaining to him.

First letter to Max

Dear Max,

I have just finished nursing you and placed you in your crib for the night. Even though I spent a good 35 minutes in there with you, I almost wish I had sat there with you a bit longer. I know you needed to be in your crib to sleep properly and that I needed to get out here and get on with the evening chores and activities. In fact, this blog entry started writing itself in my head and I was a bit anxious to get it down while the creative juices are flowing. I’m like that. Ideas start coming to me when I’m not in a position to capture them on paper or record them in any way. However, you had fallen asleep while I was nursing you, which you never do anymore. Your little head would loll back, but you would wake up, determined to nurse some more. And part of me wanted to let you do that all night, because I know my chances to hold you like that are coming to a close.

The past six months have been the best of my life. They have been exciting, difficult, heartwarming, and heartrending. I look at you sometimes and my love for you suffuses my entire being with joy. It always happens at the oddest times. Today, it happened when I was sitting up in bed, exhausted from not sleeping well. Daddy was holding you on his lap, giving me a break from nursing to have some coffee. I hadn’t even had one sip, but I looked at your face, so happy and expectant simply because you were sitting with your parents, and I was struck again by how unbelievably beautiful you are. That feeling is better than caffeine. (Although I did still drink it. Mommy needs her caffeine. That’s another thing you will learn about me.)

My first chance to really bond with you was my second night in the hospital. It was about 11 p.m., I think, and poor Daddy had fallen asleep in two armchairs pushed together. It was our first chance to be alone since your birth. I held you in my arms (You were sleeping, too.) and I just stared. And stared. And stared some more. Your face was peaceful and glowing. Really. You seemed so perfectly content with me. And, for the first time in those two crazy days, I felt perfectly content, too. These were the moments I had been waiting for for 41 and a half weeks and really, my whole life. I looked at you for so long and just memorized your face and the way you felt in my arms. I should have been sleeping, because, like Daddy, I hadn’t slept much in the past 72 hours. It was worth it, though.

You are different than I ever imagined you would be. You’re better. And I’m better because of you. You have started me on the path to the person I’ve always wanted to be. I get up early because of you. I go to bed earl(ier) because of you. I plan meals, shop, and cook for you. (Even though you can’t eat it yet.) I’ve read entire books about sleep and learned all about feeding you as well. I’ve started going with the flow and doing whatever works at the time. Thinking on my feet. I’ve even (gasp!) started getting rid of things, including books, for you. It is perhaps ironic that having you has made me feel freer than I’ve ever felt in my whole life. You have made me brave enough to try to be a better person and not worry about the consequences. If it doesn’t work, you try something else. That’s motherhood and life, in a nutshell.

You are so adorable and so good. Those are the two things everyone mentions about you. You have the biggest blue eyes and two adorable little teeth on the bottom. You have a dimple in your left cheek when you smile and laugh, just like me and your cousin Cailyn. You are calm and relaxed most of the time. You don’t fuss much and when you do, it rarely escalates to screaming. You are so patient with your father and me. I thank you for that and will always try to do the same for you.

I love you, Max. You and your daddy are the best things that ever happened to me. You are my dream come to life. I waited so long for both of you and you were both worth every minute of the wait.

Happy first half-year, my little man.

All my love,

Mommy

Sleepy parent dialogue

Me: Honey, turn over. I’m having trouble sleeping and you’re snoring.

Husband: Wha??

Me: Turn over. You’re snoring.

Husband (attempting to scoop me up like a baby): It’s ok, sweet boy. Go back to sleep.

Me: Honey, I’m not Max.

Husband: What?

Me: I’m not Max.

Husband: OK. (Goes back to sleep.)

Me: Why didn’t I just let him scoop me up?

Husband remembers nothing of this the next morning. Isn’t he sweet? He’s so nurturing, even when he’s sound asleep.

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